When it comes to furnaces, there are many things to think about before purchasing. You need to consider the size of your home, the climate where you live, and how often you use your furnace. You also need to decide which type of furnace is best for you.
A well-maintained furnace can last 15 to 20 years, making it a long-term investment that influences your entire home’s comfort. Before installing a new unit, it’s critical to think about different systems, fuel sources, sizes, and efficiency. By weighing all of your options and consulting a skilled contractor, you can ensure that you get the best furnace for your needs. An efficient furnace is essential for keeping your house warm and comfortable, but how do you decide which furnace is right for you?
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying a Furnace:
Different Types of Furnaces:
- Heat in a Single Stage: The most prevalent are single-stage or single-speed furnaces. They have a single-size flame that can only be turned on or off, with no alternatives. Before warm air flows from the vents, these furnaces make a distinctive “rev up” sound. Single-stage furnaces turn off when the desired temperature is reached until it’s time to run again. These systems’ parts and labor typically range from $2,000 to $3,500.
- Heat in Two Stages: Two-stage or two-speed furnaces are more energy-efficient than single-stage models. They have two flames, one of which is constantly burning while the temperature is lower. The second, larger flame ignites to provide additional warmth when it grows colder outside. This furnace fan is quieter than a single-speed unit. Parts and labor range from $2,500 to $4,000.
- Heat With Multiple Stages: The most efficient alternative is a multi-stage or modulating furnace, which can keep your home heated within two degrees of the programmed temperature. The flame in the unit gradually grows and diminishes, ensuring that your home is consistently comfortable. Parts and labor for modulating furnaces range from $5,000 to $7,500.
Choosing the Best System
- Gas: Gas is the most cost-effective energy source for furnaces; it is the most widely used heating system. Gas furnaces generate heat by burning cold air with natural gas, then moving the warm air through the residence via air ducts with the help of a fan.
- Electric: Electric furnaces work in a similar way to gas furnaces. They generate heat by drawing air through a heat exchanger, then pushing the warm air through the ducts with a blower. Electric furnaces are a good option for people who don’t have access to a natural gas line or who don’t want to be exposed to carbon monoxide fumes.
- Propane: Instead of natural gas or electricity, propane is used as a fuel source in propane systems. The surface unit receives propane from an outdoor storage container, and the propane is then burned in a heat exchanger, which assists in warming the circulating air. Propane furnaces are smaller and fit better in smaller spaces, making them a popular alternative for locations where power outages occur frequently.
- Convenience: Different furnace systems come with various comfort features, such as lower noise levels and temperature settings. While these solutions are sometimes more expensive, a furnace is an investment that you will be living with for the next 15 to 20 years, so think about what will work best for your family in the long run. Higher-quality furnaces, such as two-stage and multi-stage models, are often quieter. A furnace dehumidifier, which helps manage humidity levels in your home, is also an option. The cost of a whole-house dehumidifier ranges from $1,300 to $2,800. Instead of a typical thermostat, you might want to look into alternative thermostats, such as Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats, to control the temperature in your home.
- Begin By Hiring the Correct Contractor: Replacing your home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is a significant project requiring professional assistance. The first step is to locate a qualified and licensed contractor. They can assist you in making the most excellent buy for your home and needs. The Technical Standards and Safety Authority require HVAC contractors in Ontario to be licensed and registered. It’s critical to obtain at least three written estimates from various contractors. When presenting you with options, each contractor should examine your property’s size, construction, and layout and do a heat loss assessment. They should check to see if the ducting can handle the airflow requirements of your new equipment.
The estimate should include data on the recommended equipment and its efficiency and warranty information. Furthermore, the chosen contractor should properly remove and dispose of your old furnace. Always inquire for references for similar work your contractor has completed, any ongoing maintenance assistance they provide, and their insurance coverage. You could also want to check your HVAC contractor’s credentials with the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any lingering issues or complaints between the company and its clients. Finally, your contractor will be able to tell you whether any ductwork, venting, or upgrading alterations are required. PVC or ABS plastic pipes vent high-efficiency furnaces through the basement wall.
Make sure you have your furnace tested by a TSSA representative after installation.
- Warranty: When installing a new furnace, it should have at least one manufacturer’s guarantee on the parts. These guarantees must be registered and often last five to ten years. Additional coverage, such as an Installation Warranty or an Extended Warranty, may be available.
- Choose the Right Size: A properly sized system is critical for total house comfort. Choosing a unit that is too big or too small can impact energy efficiency, temperature levels, and the cost of furnace maintenance.
You’ll need to examine numerous aspects before getting a new furnace installed, including your home’s square footage, the insulation quality of your windows and walls, ceiling heights, and the recommended heating factor for the temperature zone you reside in.
A certified professional contractor can assist you in determining which furnace model is ideal for your home’s size and shape.
How Might a Furnace Assist me in Conserving Energy?
Although most furnaces in Ontario heat your home with natural gas, they still require electricity. An efficient furnace motor can help you save money on energy and reduce your furnace’s maintenance costs over time. An ECM, or electronically commutated motor, improves the efficiency and consistency of your furnace. Instead of turning on and off abruptly, a variable speed motor allows your furnace fan to start up more gradually and run continuously at a lower output, reducing wear and tear on your furnace.
What Is the Best Way for me to Locate an Energy-Efficient Furnace?
It’s ideal to opt for ENERGY STAR®-certified furnaces and air conditioners, which consume up to 6% less energy than non-certified versions. The EnerGuide label is the quickest way to discover your furnace’s energy efficiency level. Every EnerGuide furnace label includes an annual fuel usage efficiency (AFUE) rating.
The efficiency of high-efficiency furnaces ranges from 92 to 97 percent. Older model ratings were often around 65 percent, implying that more than one-third of your home’s heating was wasted. While the cost of a high-efficiency furnace rises with its efficiency rating, keep in mind that you will save money in the long run.
What About Non-Conventional Heating Methods?
Aside from a furnace, there are various heating systems to consider for your home. Air-source heat pumps are a cost-effective and environmentally friendly option that can help you save money and reduce your home’s carbon footprint. Ground-source heat pumps are also a viable alternative for some properties.
No one type of furnace is the best for everyone. You need to consider your home size, climate, and needs before purchasing. Gas furnaces are the most popular type, but they may not be the best option for everyone. Oil furnaces are less common, but they can be a good option for some homeowners. Electric furnaces are becoming more popular in recent years and are very efficient, but they may be more expensive than other furnaces. When you’re ready to buy a furnace, make sure you do your research and find the best option for your needs.